Historical Life Expectancy & Wealth

#1
Ladies & Gents
I came across this on a module of my distance learning course, and it is quite fascinating, even if I do say so myself!!

Impacts of the Industrial Revolution, World Wars and Cold War on wealth and life expectancy; more impressive than I'd have thought.


 
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#2
It is fascinating. More especially so because the reasons are not all that obvious to me.

At a guess, I would be going for:

1]Scientific medicine reducing pre and post partum deaths in both mother and baby.
2] Development of vaccines and antibiotics affecting the above and also reducing chronic disease.
3] Better transport links so food can be got to places where it is needed. Diets also containing a variety of food so mitigating against chronic disease, eg kwashiorkor or bladder stones.
4] Automation of agricultural labour , again reducing chronic diseases relating to wear and tear on the body
5] Women having less babies due to effective contraception.

I think that if you could get past the first five years at any time in history, you would have a good chance of a three score and ten apart from the issue of violent death. I would add , then, enforcement of law being a factor in some cases but sometimes this latter is counter productive to survival, e.g. tying certain classes to the land and so on, so have not included it above.

Is it true that life expectancy is actually a function of infant mortality or am I just making a lazy assumption.
 
#3
Is it true that life expectancy is actually a function of infant mortality or am I just making a lazy assumption.
Depends on how it's calculated. Some estimates discount infant mortality (i.e. "if you live to adulthood you will reach [x] age") while others are just rough averages based on the overall data.
 
#4
Is it true that life expectancy is actually a function of infant mortality or am I just making a lazy assumption.
Yes and no and it depends.

Firstly it depends on your use of an average. If you use the mean then you will get a different number from the median unless the distribution of the data is exactly symetrical around the mean point. If it heavily biased towards infant deaths the mean will be lower than the median, if the bias switches towards death in old age the relationship will reverse. This is because a single very big or very small number has more impact on the mean than the median.

So yes infant mortality used be high and is now massivley lower in large parts of the world and this has a big impact on the average; but also no people are clearly living longer lives.
 
#5
Yes and no and it depends.

Firstly it depends on your use of an average. If you use the mean then you will get a different number from the median unless the distribution of the data is exactly symetrical around the mean point. If it heavily biased towards infant deaths the mean will be lower than the median, if the bias switches towards death in old age the relationship will reverse. This is because a single very big or very small number has more impact on the mean than the median.

So yes infant mortality used be high and is now massivley lower in large parts of the world and this has a big impact on the average; but also no people are clearly living longer lives.
Infant mortality has a massive effect on average life expectancy. ie my grandmother on my mothers side had 13 children. Only 6 survived the cot which gives an average of about 30 years.
WWI made 2 massive changes in life expectancy. Firstly a soldier wounded in September 1918 was 1000 times more liable to survive that wound than had he been wounded 4 years previously. These gains continued into civvie street.
Secondly the evil and much hated by the Greens internal combustion engine took over from horses, bullocks etc as our standard means of transport and thus our cities and major towns were not awash with their faeces. This led to a huge drop in pestilence, vermin etc and a corresponding rise in actual individual life expectancy.
 
#7
Same as the ‘average lifespan in Middle Ages was 35-40 years’.
Utter bollocks. Bended stats
 
#8
Educating women and including them in decision making processes, is the key to our future.
Poverty means that larger families and a higher death rate will hold women back from this process. It’s not just the key to a healthier future, but also to population control and relieving poverty.

Rosling is very good at explaining big problems, making them easier to understand.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
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#11
Always interesting to see the historic effects of sugar.

Virtually unknown in bronze and iron age times, decay was not an issue to folk then.

Used to be dental decay was only a disease of the rich, as only they could afford sugar, led to Georgian ladies using fans, mainly to waft away the smell of the rotten stumps.

Gradually over time, sugar has become far more affordable and now dental decay is pretty much a disease of the lowest socio-economic groups, with the rich generally having good teeth.
 
#12
Half the world's population held back by prejudice and the fear of having to wash your own socks. I have 2 daughters doing apprenticeships and will do very well. Neither flourished in school despite being bright but in the right environment, they are really flying.
 
#13
I think it's now 'was very good at explaining'. Him being dead and all.
There are plenty of his ‘TedTalks’ available, so the simplicity of those thoughtful vignettes live on. :)
 

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